I really appreciated Larry Carson's coverage of the Ehrlich visit. As I said earlier, a partner having a mental breakdown on my person that evening kept me from attending, but from others that were there I heard that Mr. Young's comments were a pinnacle part of the event. He pointed out exactly the problems that I see and that trouble me about any aspirations of changing the balance in the state or across the country.
Roderick Young is a 32 year old black man from Columbia. Commenting on the fact that the GOP leadership (not Ehrlich) was dressed up in Revolutionary garb, he said, "The Revolutionary theme is great if you love history...but the 1700's weren't too good for us. I love the substance, but who's helping you with your packaging?"
My father is a civil war re-enactor. I have nothing against dressing up. What I do have a problem with is losing touch with professionalism and the basic tenants of public relations. Maybe I'm looking to much into it, but pairing the Tea Parties with Paul Revere costumes gives off a very separatist/militia feel. Voters don't want it. Politicians don't want it. Maybe it makes you feel hard-core or being passionate about your cause, but to everyone else you are an extremist. This is being paired with some frankly downright scary propaganda, which pairs Obama with Adolph Hitler, a man who killed millions of his own people. These same people, who use their number to confirm such dangerous beliefs, are running the show and hosting someone who is considering a run for office. I can't blame him for being on the fence.
What offended me most about the article was when another person in the crowd asked Ehrlich if he would run if Mr. Young would be his lieutenant governor. This is the same insulting logic that made Sarah Palin a VP candidate. "Look, if he's our LG there is no way we won't get the black vote." I won't go so far as to call this thinking racism, but I will say that it is the next door neighbor to racism. Such a suggestion belittles Mr. Young's contribution to the discussion and turns him into a demographic. It disgusts me. Michael Steele was an experienced candidate a tremendous amount to offer the state, but I wonder if those that think Mr. Young should be LG saw that. I wonder if they care. I wonder if they voted for Michael Steele.
I've realized that when someone whispers something to you in a political setting, it is always bad. I've heard whispers that scare me. They weren't racist statements, but I will say that racism probably asks those statements to pick up its newspaper when it goes out of town.